Thursday, May 1, 2014

Deer Brook: Photographing Water In Springtime

BJW_3567Spring time brings higher water levels in the streams, brooks, and rivers in the area.  This makes for a great opportunity to capture waterfalls and babbling brooks.  The trick to these shots is a long shutter speed, which blurs the flowing water, giving it that silky smooth look.  The effect will start to appear at around a 5 second exposure; the photo above is a 30 second exposure.  To get exposures this long you will want to reduce your ISO (100), use a larger aperture (f11), and shoot in low-light.  Typically it is best to shoot these photos in early morning or late evening.  Adding a neutral density (ND) filter will allow you to shoot in brighter conditions.  This photo was shot with a 10 stop ND filter at around 10am.  Finally, long exposures such as this will require a tripod or resting the camera on a solid surface.

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Brendan Wiltse is the Science & Stewardship Director for the Ausable River Association and a professional conservation photographer. He holds a Ph.D. in Biology from Queen's University in Canada. While not out on the water studying Adirondack lakes and streams, he is often roaming the Wilderness with his camera and dog. You can view is photography at

3 Responses

  1. big burly says:

    Great art in this image and technical wizardry.

    I have however never seen this in nature. Not sure such wizardry connects me with nature.

    • Bill Ott says:

      Photography is more than recording what is there, but also what is felt. Capturing a freeze frame of a flowing river does not record the feeling of flowing water. A long exposure does much better. One might call it a cross between a motion picture and a still photo. I look at Brendan’s photos and wish I had some that I could post also. Here, Brendan even tells his secrets.

  2. Photographing Water In Springtime » Upper Saranac Lake Association says:

    […] Read Article […]

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